As the presidential campaign moves into its final four weeks, agreement between the candidates seems vanishingly rare. Yet both mentioned renewable energy in their responses to the second-to-last question of last night’s town hall-style debate: “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs, while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job losses for fossil power plant workers?”
“I’m all for alternative forms of energy, including wind, including solar…”
“I support moving toward more clean, renewable energy as quickly as we can, because I think we can be the 21st century clean energy superpower and create millions of new jobs and businesses.”
The more American voters get to know wind power, in particular, the more they like it.
Surveys in wind country this summer by American Wind Action found that in Texas, home to a quarter of the nation’s wind power, 85 percent of registered voters support increasing clean energy like wind. In Iowa, which generates the U.S. record of a third of its electricity usingwind, support is even higher at 91 percent.
A survey on energy during the 2016 primaries by the consulting firm Lazard found 91 percent of likely voters want to expand wind energy, including 81 percent of self-described conservatives.
Wind already powers 5.3 percent of the U.S. electric grid; it’s on track to quadruple by 2030. Costs are down two-thirds, so it saves money on people’s electric bills. Farmers say it’s a drought-proof cash crop – the new corn.
Both party platforms call for the transmission lines sorely needed to get more of our wind resources to market. After the election, that’s a clear path to progress.